Zero Motivation may be the next Israeli film that ends up as the basis for a Broadway show – like The Band’s Visit – since a musical version of it will be opening at the Beit Lessin Theater in Tel Aviv in October.
Oren Yaacobi wrote the play and Eli Butner wrote the songs. The show will be directed by Ido Rosenberg.
The original film, the debut feature by Talya Lavie, was the surprise winner of the top prize in the world cinema category at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York in 2014, and has become one of the most acclaimed and popular Israeli films of all time.
The movie tells the story of two miserable female soldiers, played by Nelly Tagar and Dana Ivgy (who won an Ophir Award for her performance), in a base in the Negev, who spend their days making coffee, shredding documents and dreaming of a transfer to army headquarters in Tel Aviv. The shrewd blend of black comedy and social criticism drew favorable comparisons to Robert Altman’s antiwar classic, MASH.
The show will star singer/actress Meshi Kleinstein as Daffi, the role originated by Tagar. Kleinstein, who is the daughter of singing stars Rita and Rami Kleinstein, told Yediot Aharonot, when she was cast last spring, “I am so happy to be a part of this project. I saw the movie several times on film and TV and I really loved it. It brought back moments that I experienced during my military service... It feels like a private joke of an entire country.”
The Band’s Visit, an Israeli film by Eran Kolirin, was adapted into a Broadway musical that won 10 Tony Awards in 2018.